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Oct 5, 2022

The 5 greatest puzzles in fundamental physics

Posted by in categories: physics, space

From the tiniest subatomic scales to the grandest cosmic ones, solving any of these puzzles could unlock our understanding of the Universe.

Oct 5, 2022

Caltech’s Breakthrough New Nanophotonic Chip “Squeezes” More Out of Light

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Electronic computing and communications have advanced significantly since the days of radio telegraphy and vacuum tubes. In fact, consumer devices now contain levels of processing power and memory that would be unimaginable just a few decades ago.

But as computing and information processing microdevices get ever smaller and more powerful, they are running into some fundamental limits imposed by the laws of quantum physics. Because of this, the future of the field may lie in photonics—the light-based parallel to electronics. Photonics is theoretically similar to electronics but substitutes photons for electrons. They have a huge potential advantage in that photonic devices may be capable of processing data much faster than their electronic counterparts, including for quantum computers.

Oct 5, 2022

Fluidic circuits add analog options for controlling soft robots

Posted by in categories: materials, robotics/AI

Add analog and air-driven to the list of control system options for soft robots.

In a study published online this week, robotics researchers, engineers and materials scientists from Rice University and Harvard University showed it is possible to make programmable, nonelectronic circuits that control the actions of by processing information encoded in bursts of compressed air.

Continue reading “Fluidic circuits add analog options for controlling soft robots” »

Oct 5, 2022

Air-powered computer memory helps soft robot control movements

Posted by in categories: innovation, robotics/AI

Engineers at UC Riverside have unveiled an air-powered computer memory that can be used to control soft robots. The innovation overcomes one of the biggest obstacles to advancing soft robotics: the fundamental mismatch between pneumatics and electronics. The work is published in the open-access journal, PLOS One.

Pneumatic soft robots use pressurized air to move soft, rubbery limbs and grippers and are superior to traditional rigid robots for performing delicate tasks. They are also safer for humans to be around. Baymax, the healthcare companion in the 2014 animated Disney film, Big Hero 6, is a pneumatic robot for good reason.

Continue reading “Air-powered computer memory helps soft robot control movements” »

Oct 5, 2022

This new computer chip is ideal for AI

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence presents a major challenge to conventional computing architecture. In standard models, memory storage and computing take place in different parts of the machine, and data must move from its area of storage to a CPU or GPU for processing.

The problem with this design is that movement takes time. Too much time. You can have the most powerful processing unit on the market, but its performance will be limited as it idles waiting for data, a problem known as the “memory wall” or “bottleneck.”

When computing outperforms memory transfer, latency is unavoidable. These delays become serious problems when dealing with the enormous amounts of data essential for machine learning and AI applications.

Oct 5, 2022

3D-printed, ultra-strong and ductile alloys form nanostructures

Posted by in categories: engineering, nanotechnology

Additive manufacturing techniques used to produce metal alloys have gained popularity due to their ability to be fabricated in complex shapes for use in various engineering applications. Yet the majority of studies conducted have centered around developing single-phase materials.

Dr. Kelvin Xie’s team in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University employed advanced characterization techniques to reveal the microstructure of the 3D-printed dual-phase multi-principal elements, also known as (HEAs), that display ultra-strong and ductile properties. This work is a collaboration with Dr. Wen Chen from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Dr. Ting Zhu from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

This study was recently published in Nature.

Continue reading “3D-printed, ultra-strong and ductile alloys form nanostructures” »

Oct 5, 2022

Engineers create the highest specific strength titanium alloy using 3D printing techniques

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical

A world-first study led by Monash University engineers has demonstrated how cutting-edge 3D-printing techniques can be used to produce an ultra strong commercial titanium alloy—a significant leap forward for the aerospace, space, defense, energy and biomedical industries.

Australian researchers, led by Professor Aijun Huang and Dr. Yuman Zhu from Monash University, used a 3D-printing method to manipulate a novel microstructure. In doing so, they achieved unprecedented mechanical performance.

This research, published in Nature Materials, was undertaken on commercially available alloys and can be applied immediately.

Oct 5, 2022

Researchers develop 3D-printed shape memory alloy with superior superelasticity

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical

Laser powder bed fusion, a 3D-printing technique, offers potential in the manufacturing industry, particularly when fabricating nickel-titanium shape memory alloys with complex geometries. Although this manufacturing technique is attractive for applications in the biomedical and aerospace fields, it has rarely showcased the superelasticity required for specific applications using nickel-titanium shape memory alloys. Defects generated and changes imposed onto the material during the 3D-printing process prevented the superelasticity from appearing in 3D-printed nickel-titanium.

Researchers from Texas A&M University recently showcased superior tensile superelasticity by fabricating a through , nearly doubling the maximum superelasticity reported in literature for 3D printing.

This study was recently published in vol. 229 of the Acta Materialia journal.

Oct 5, 2022

New shape memory alloy discovered through artificial intelligence framework

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Researchers from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University have used an Artificial Intelligence Materials Selection framework (AIMS) to discover a new shape memory alloy. The shape memory alloy showed the highest efficiency during operation achieved thus far for nickel-titanium-based materials. In addition, their data-driven framework offers proof of concept for future materials development.

This study was recently published in the Acta Materialia journal.

Shape memory alloys are utilized in various fields where compact, lightweight and solid-state actuations are needed, replacing hydraulic or pneumatic actuators because they can deform when cold and then return to their original shape when heated. This unique property is critical for applications, such as airplane wings, jet engines and automotive components, that must withstand repeated, recoverable large-shape changes.

Oct 5, 2022

The “Pore Space” Race Has Begun

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

The energy industry is looking to carbon capture and sequestration to mitigate climate change. That means finding lots of pore space.


They will need thousands of these underground sites to store tens of millions of tons of CO2 to help mitigate climate change.

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